Archive for July, 2008

Valderbar R.I.P (circa 1990- 2008)

With more grief than words can say, for those who knew Valderbar… she crossed the rainbow bridge yesterday. It was after a series of medical cascades, being given hours or days to live 3 times over the last year, the toll was showing. Her weight was continuously falling over the last couple years, with vomiting increasing. She was treated and rallied against odds but each rallying didn’t get to as well as before the last bout.

There had been years of medication and living with thyroid problems, irritable bowel, arthritis and heart murmurs, added in the last months to her list of challenges, kidney and liver disease. The daily subcutaneous fluid wasn’t enough to offset her systems shutting down. 

At the same time, even when these systems were going, she remained patient and friendly, curious about visitors, getting onto laps of friends and strangers, sucking up to visitors, and investigating workmen who came into her space. She loved climbing around on the desk for naps and taking over an unlikely amount of bed or floor real estate given her petite frame.

IMG_5477  We lived together for under a decade of her life. We adopted her and another, Zoe, together about 7 years ago from the shelter.

Valderbar, her Royal Purrness, would wait for us by the door, eager to see us. At night she’d sleep in the chair by the bed, or on us, or between us. Or on our heads or pillows.

Most mornings she was the first eyes I’d see, hubby waking earlier. I fed her. He does laps. She knows for food, it was me she has to bug. She loved being on a lap, or ideally, on both laps at once, sprawled over us both. Whenever we took a Sunday nap, she’d hop up beside us, napping as long as we napped. She’d prefer to eat, only when we ate. She even got in the habit of sitting on hubby’s lap at breakfast and supper. And to think, she once had a terrain of only the floor, no sofas, no tables, no couches, no beds, not upstairs.

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She came to want to be carried around, loving body contact especially when she was feeling ill. She preferred books to computers since reading people are quieter and move less. When reading was done and we needed to get back to the real business of life of petting her, she’d groan and adjust and push the computer off the lap or sit in the middle of it.   

She was mischievous. Such as when she climbed onto the dinner table and ate half a bowl of mashed potatoes while our backs were turned. She, for years, delighted in stalking me at the computer, creeping up slowly, and then when I am deep in task, leap over the back of the laptop at me, making me shriek than walk off with tail high, amused. 

Back when there was her companion cat (who crossed the rainbow bridge years ago) they would tussle and wrestle and Valderbar would wait from a high vantage point and pounce Zoe every time she went for food or water. And Zoe being not the brightest whisker on a face, would be surprised every. single. time. (We won’t admit how many times I was also startled, every. single. time. ahem)
While Zoe was flumoxxed by the complexity of a receipt that (gasp!) flipped over, Valderbar ran among balls (only nubby balls with unpredictable deflection could hold her interest). She chased her tail, and ran at windows to catch pigeons or seagulls who got too close just like scampering youth, thru the hampering illnesses she kept purring, leaping onto chairs even when she missed and it embarrassed her, she was not to complain, unless her meal was late.

She added affection and a welcoming face to years.  Initially a behind-the-scenes girl who would make requests only by purring louder and head-butting, or tapping a paw, she found her voice and became quite vocal over the last couple years years.

A few years ago, she was closed in the basement by a real estate agent and left in there all day despite the door having a door stop and note to ensure that wouldn’t happen. She sat on the top step without complaint and when we opened the door she bounded out.

She always liked small spaces, finding herself closed into a closet when she went to nap with the shoes and would not scratch or meow to indicate where she was.  She gained her voice in the last couple years, especially when there was fresh cooked chicken. Then she could belt something like a doggy baritone bark to demand it while it was still steaming.

You all know the grief. Food bowls to absences of shadow underfoot. Soft warmth, eye to eye so that we feel we are the same size.

Comments (31)


My favorite place – in contact with the two beans at the same time.

I put two feet on each of them to share myself fairly.

In the sun, with wind ruffling my hair the warmth sinks into my cold toes and bones.

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Feeling my age

In bean years I’m in my 80s. Beans age so slow by the sun.

My teeth, the ones left, aren’t good. My hips are stiff when I jump to the chair. I like to curl into the heat of the back of beans as they sleep, even if they do spike my food with medicine and abduct me to the v-e-t to needle me with liquid. I think they are trying to make me a camel.

But still, warm lap in warm sun and a good stroking even when I fart, helps.

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Sniff, sniff

That smells wonderful.

A long day since my breakfast call at 5:30 and my getting success by licking the female bean’s nose, whiskering her face and churning butter of her bladder.

Good to get fresh chicken. Tip for you all: Refuse to eat for long enough and they bring out the good stuff.

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Happy Kablouie Day

I wondered who were these people and where I was going to find the time and energy to get on all their laps. I’ll settled for two friendly stranger beans who scritched me under the chin. Then I went to nap in the back of the closet.

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